Sportsman's Lodge

[Photos and text are from our family archives unless otherwise noted]

I have posted an extended version at August Phoenix Mercantile, which will be the permanent home for this article as I plan to shut down this blog in the Spring of 2023.

My grandmother’s grandfather, J.J. Carpenter, acquired land in Colorado in 1885 as part of President Roosevelt’s Homestead Act. He eventually built a lodge in Cebolla (near Gunnison, CO), that went by various names – Carpenter’s Fishing Lodge, Sportsman Hotel, and Sportsman’s Lodge. My mother grew up near there, my grandmother and her sister played there, and my grandmother and her husband worked there for a short time in the 1920’s.

It has long held fascination for me, not only because the Carpenters were ‘big fish in a little pond’ in Gunnison, but also because of a family story that claims that the Carpenter boys took guests out on hunting parties, and that one of those parties included Buffalo Bill Cody.

And, there was a bear, whom guests would feed with beer. Published stories list the bear’s name as Maude, though the third photo in this series has a note on the back of “Nellie Bear”. Needless to say, I have a lot of stories to track down…

14 thoughts on “Sportsman's Lodge

  1. The bears name was nellie. They left it alone too long and the bear malled one of the hands that fed it so they shot it. I have the original picture of the tack room with the eagle and the stuffed kitty. My great grandfather killed that mountain lion with a bowie knife at 13 years old.


  2. My grandfather was Earl John Carpenter Jr. My name is Lee Earl Carpenter. My great Grandfather was Earl John Carpenter Sr. His wife’s name was Dottie Dillie. They had 3 children, one was my grandfather, and my two aunts, Charlotte, and Betty. There was two uncles named Harry and Howard, they were twins. I have Howard’s pocket watch. There was one child that didn’t make it, her name was Earletta and she died at only 3 months old of crib death.


    1. Hi Lee, my name is Lynn Carpenter Cadrin and I am related to you! My great grandfather was Lloyd DeVere, one of your great grandfather’s older brothers. I am fortunate to still have my uncle George living. He would also love to visit with you. He, however does not use e-mail. (this reply has been edited by August Phoenix Hats to remove personal info)


  3. Hi! I’m Justin Wean. I am related to both of you. Betty Carpenter is my Mema. I am so fascinated by both the Carpenter and Devere sides of this family. My father is Gregory John Wean. Son of Betty Maude Carpenter and Frank Peter Wean Jr.


  4. Hello, J J Carpenter was the brother of my great grandmother Sue Carpenter Childs (one of the siblings that stayed in Mitchell County NC.

    I have been reading the news articles about Howard’s death and the inquest once his remains were found. Several news articles mentioned that JJ had mentioned who he thought had killed Howard. Do you know who that was?


    1. My grandmother believed it was the priest who went with Howard on that hunting trip. Two men left but only the priest came back. She also hinted that our family left the Catholic church and became Episcopalian after that. I have not confirmed the story.


      1. I found where the priest, Father O”Farrell, died from a crushed skull in 1923. He was late for a wedding, driving fast after a New Years Eve Party. A sketch of him accompaied the article. He was young and nice looking. I also found written that Howard’s fiancee, Anna Landry, was a part time housekeeper for Father O’Farrell.


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